Guiding light via geometric phases

Sergei Slussarenko, Alessandro Alberucci, Chandroth P. Jisha, Bruno Piccirillo, Enrico Santamato, Gaetano Assanto, Lorenzo Marrucci

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)


    All known methods for transverse confinement and guidance of light rely on modification of the refractive index, that is, on the scalar properties of electromagnetic radiation. Here, we disclose the concept of a dielectric waveguide that exploits vectorial spin–orbit interactions of light and the resulting geometric phases. The approach relies on the use of anisotropic media with an optic axis that lies orthogonal to the propagation direction but is spatially modulated, so that the refractive index remains constant everywhere. A spin-controlled cumulative phase distortion is imposed on the beam, balancing diffraction for a specific polarization. As well as theoretical analysis, we present an experimental demonstration of the guidance using a series of discrete geometric-phase lenses made from liquid crystal. Our findings show that geometric phases may determine the optical guiding behaviour well beyond a Rayleigh length, paving the way to a new class of photonic devices. The concept is applicable to the whole electromagnetic spectrum.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)571-575
    Number of pages5
    JournalNature Photonics
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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    • Publication forum level 3


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